I thought the story of day two at Bay Hill was going to be Graeme McDowell's 9-under par round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. However, the new story is Tiger Woods takes the lead after the second round at Bay Hill. Woods fired a 7-under par round of 65 to finish at 10-under par for the tournament. Woods' terrific round left him tied with Charlie Wi heading into the weekend.
One shot behind the leaders are Jason Dufner and Graeme McDowell at 9-under par. While Wi shot a solid round of 68, it was the spectacular round by McDowell that was the early headline. McDowell made seven birdies and an eagle on 16 in route to a 9-under par 63. Tiger Woods has the midway lead and will get plenty of press attention but I don't think Graeme McDowell is too jealous. He will take his bogey free 63 and be content to fly under the radar going into the weekend.
In his quest to make the Masters field in 2012, Ernie Els finished the day at 2-under par, 3-under par for the tournament and is currently tied for 15th place. Phil Mickelson didn't do much in the second round either. After making birdie on three of his first four holes on the back nine to get the 3-under par for the day, Mickelson bogeyed 17 and 18 to finish at even par for the tournament.
Of course the focus will now be squarely on Tiger Woods heading into the weekend. Can Tiger win? Will Woods win? What does it mean if Tiger wins? I am sure that Tiger Woods desperately wants to win this tournament. For one thing it will prevent everyone asking about when he will win again. The second thing it will do is give him some confidence as he goes into the Masters looking for his fifth Green Jacket. It might even conceivably put a little bit of thought in the back of his competitors' minds that Tiger is really back. While the Tiger intimidation factor will never be what it once was, every little bit of mental edge that Woods can gain will help.
Dwight is an avid golfer. While still relatively new to the game, he plays as often as the weather and his schedule will allow.
More from this contributor:
- Tiger Woods
- Graeme McDowell